10:30am local time on Saturday, September 5, 2015 at Lord’s, London
England – $2.53 at www.Sportsbet.com
Australia – $1.57 at William Hill
AUSTRALIA may have endured a miserable Ashes series, but their one-day form looks as good as ever.
The reigning world champions took a 1-0 lead on Thursday in their five-match ODI series against England, who fell 59 runs short of the Aussies’ 305 total.
The result has seen the tourists firm to $1.57 (bet365.com) to win the second ODI at Lord’s this Saturday, while leading bookmaker William Hill now has them at $1.22 futures odds to take the series outright.
The top three of David Warner (59), Joe Burns (44) and Steve Smith (44) gave Australia a very solid start in Southampton, although all would have been disappointed with soft dismissals to Adil Rashid.
The England leg-spinner also claimed George Bailey lbw to set off a mini-collapse in the middle order, with Glenn Maxwell and Shane Watson sent packing shortly after.
But incoming wicketkeeper Matthew Wade made the most of his opportunity, top scoring with 71 in an unbeaten 112-run stand with Mitchell Marsh (40*).
England’s top four responded well, especially Jason Roy (67) and James Taylor (49), but Australia’s bowlers lifted as one to roll the last six wickets for just 52 runs.
Smith was pleased with his side’s performance, and especially with the late hitting of Wade and Marsh.
“I thought the boys played really nicely tonight,” the Australian captain told the media after the game.
“We probably had a bit of a hiccup with the bat in the middle order but Matthew Wade and Mitchell Marsh at the end there, to score 93 off the last 10 [overs], was an extremely good effort.
“I thought the total was around par. I thought we were going to have to bowl and field well – and we did tonight, so that was the most pleasing thing.”
Smith’s opposite number, Eoin Morgan, praised the Aussies’ performance while admitting England would need to do more if they wished to turn the tables this weekend at Lord’s.
“Australia are a really strong side and we will have to play well to beat them,” said Morgan.
“I suppose if we’re looking to be the perfect side, 306, given the start we had, was within our grasp. We didn’t do enough here but this will be part of our learning curve.”
England have added 21-year-old Essex spinner Reece Topley to the roster for the remainder of the series, but Rashid will hold his spot for Lord’s after returning four wickets for 59 at the Ageas Bowl.
Of the Yorkshire leggy’s performance, Morgan said: “Adil has come on leaps and bounds, probably since the start of the summer.
“He bowled well in the New Zealand series and he’s been working really hard at Yorkshire and obviously being in and around the Test team.
“For him to come out today and hold his nerve against a good batting lineup, I was very impressed.”
Seamers Mark Wood (1/72), Chris Woakes (0/57) and Steve Finn (0/41) were largely ineffectual in match one, which could result in either David Willey or Liam Plunkett being included on Saturday.
England and Australia ODI squads
England: Eoin Morgan (C), Moeen Ali, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Taylor, Reece Topley, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
Australia: Steven Smith (C), Ashton Agar, George Bailey, Joe Burns, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Shane Watson.
Australia to win – $1.57 at WilliamHill.com
Australia to hit most sixes – $2.18 at CrownBet
No centuries to be scored – $2.20 at www.Bet365.com
If the Aussies have any happy hunting grounds left in the UK, then Lord’s is the best of them.
They demolished England there during the recent Ashes series, and they will be confident of a repeat dose after their composed, somewhat gritty display in the first ODI.
The visitors’ extra pace options should allow them to squeeze some life out of a deck which should be rather conducive to shotmaking – an area in which they are equally well stocked.
And regardless of any psychological advantage the hosts might have carried over from the Test series, Australia – the 2015 Cricket World Cup winners – are still the best One Day International team on the planet.
If you’re looking for some value in the England vs Australia match betting markets, CrownBet.com has the tourists at outsider odds to score the most match sixes (they edged that stat 3-2 down in Hampshire).
Bet365, meanwhile, is offering better than even money for no hundreds to be score by either side.
Top runscorer picks
England – Alex Hales ($5 at Sportsbet.com)
Hales’ scores in the T20i (3) and the first ODI (22) belie his stellar form throughout the English summer. The big-hitting opener notched three consecutive one-day 50s for Notts leading into this series, punctuated by a barnstorming 189 against Warwickshire in the County Championship.
Australia – Steven Smith ($4 at William Hill)
The Aussie skipper looked in excellent touch on Thursday before holing out to deep midwicket for 44. It’s almost impossible to pick anyone else at St. John’s Wood, where Smith made scores of 215 and 58 in the second Test of the recent Ashes series.
Best odds for top wicket-taker
England – Adil Rashid ($4.60 at www.CrownBet.com)
Rashid took 75 per cent of England’s wickets at Southampton, so it’s tough to look elsewhere on form alone. He regularly deceived the Aussie batsmen with clever variations in flight and pace, and his well-diguised googly could pose more problems this weekend.
Australia – Nathan Coulter-Nile ($5 at Bet365)
All three of Australia’s frontline quicks took two wickets in the first ODI, but Coulter-Nile was the pick of the bunch. The West Australian’s willingness to hit the deck is a handy counterpoint to the fuller length of Starc, and that trait should prove useful in extracting some juice from batter-friendly pitch conditions at Lord’s.
ENG vs AUS ODI fixtures and results
First ODI – Thursday, September 3 at the Rose Bowl, Southampton (Australian won by 59 runs)
Second ODI – Saturday, September 5 at Lord’s, London
Third ODI – Tuesday, September 8 at Old Trafford, Manchester
Fourth ODI – Friday, September 11 at Headingley, Leeds
Fifth ODI – Sunday, September 14 at Old Trafford, Manchester
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